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Abstract

This paper is based on a qualitative study of recent Polish migrants in London (Ryan, et al., 2007). The paper reveals the roles that different family members played in the migration narratives of these Polish migrants. In order to gain a broader understanding of migration patterns, it is necessary to explore what is meant by “the family” and how this may operate transnationally. By examining spatially dispersed relationships, the paper aims to contribute to an understanding of transnational families. In addition, by highlighting the various ways in which families may be split, reunited, and reshaped through the process of migration, the paper argues for a need to explore the shifting ties between relatives “here” and “there”. The paper explores the dynamism of these relationships over time in the context of specific immigration regimes and the interplay with local attachments.